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Press Release

Sotherly Hotels Inc. Relaunches Savannah Hotel Under Historic Name – The DeSoto

Company Release - 8/1/2017 9:00 AM ET

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Aug. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sotherly Hotels Inc. (NASDAQ:SOHO) (“the Company”) announced today the addition of The DeSoto, formerly the Hilton Savannah DeSoto, to its portfolio of independent boutique properties following a $9.4 million renovation, conversion, and relaunch effort.

The DeSoto is the fourth property in Sotherly’s collection of independent boutique hotels, which launched in 2014 with The Georgian Terrace in Atlanta and also includes The Whitehall in Houston, Texas and the Hyde Resort & Residences in Hollywood, Florida.

“We are excited to complete the renovation and to position The DeSoto as Savannah’s premier boutique property once again, just as it was when it first opened in 1890,” said Drew Sims, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “There is no better fit for our collection of boutique hotels than The DeSoto, with its legacy dating back more than a century and its picturesque location in the heart of Savannah’s sought-after Historic District.”

Sotherly Hotels purchased the Hilton Savannah DeSoto in 2004 as part of its initial public offering, and the property subsequently underwent an extensive $12 million renovation in 2008. In preparation for the property’s August 1st relaunch as an independent boutique property, the Company began a second $9.4 million renovation in 2016 that will officially be complete later this summer. This effort included extensive upgrades to all 245 of the hotel’s guestrooms as well as the lobby, pool, meeting space, restaurants, and other public areas.

The majority of the recent renovation focused on upgrading the property’s finishes and amenities to reflect Sotherly’s mission of extending true Southern hospitality to all of its guests while also recapturing the grandeur of The DeSoto’s historic identity. The DeSoto’s all-new guestrooms include hardwood flooring, spa-like baths with marble walk-in showers and eco-friendly toiletries, large flat screen TVs, and impressive views of some of Savannah’s best-known landmarks. Additionally, modern plush seating, full-length dressing mirrors, updated window treatments and wall coverings, and all-new bedding give the guestrooms a residential feel, while the property’s on-site fitness center, chef-crafted in-room dining menus, complimentary Wi-Fi, and on-site gourmet-to-go coffee bar ensure guests have all the comforts of home right at their fingertips.

Another notable aspect of the soon-to-be-complete renovation effort is the reconfiguration and rebranding of all three of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets. The former Lion’s Den Pub is now Edgar’s Proof & Provision (www.proofsavannah.com), an old-fashioned community drinkery featuring all-new indoor and outdoor seating areas offering a selection of 120+ whiskeys plus chef-inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Similarly, the former lobby coffee bar is now expanded into Buffalo Bayou Coffee, serving local Savannah Coffee Roasters brews alongside gourmet-to-go light fare. The previous DeSoto Grille space will reopen later in August as the 1540 Room (www.1540savannah.com), complete with show kitchen and new fixtures and furnishings.

The DeSoto is also home to a custom-curated art gallery that begins in the hotel’s lobby and continues throughout the first-floor public areas. A standard in all of Sotherly’s independent boutique hotels, the gallery features original works by students, faculty, and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and is made possible through a partnership between Sotherly Hotels and SCAD.

Once known as “The Empress of the South,” the original DeSoto Hotel was designed by Boston architect Williams Gibbons Preston and opened on New Year’s Eve 1890. The property featured 300 guestrooms and approximately 9,000 square feet of public space and was best known for its unmatched luxury, including a grand porch flanked by terra cotta and granite buttresses, massive crystal chandeliers, mahogany furnishings, and over 15,000 pieces of silverware.

In 1965, the DeSoto Hotel closed its doors for the final time in its original building and reopened three years later in July 1968 as the Hilton Savannah DeSoto. Located at 15 East Liberty Street on the site of General Oglethorpe’s barracks, the 15-story structure was designed by Atlanta architect Richard Aeck in contemporary style, although it did retain some elements of the original building, including the terra cotta artwork and crystal chandeliers still on display today.

The DeSoto is affiliated with Preferred Hotels and Resorts, which represents a diverse portfolio of exquisite and elegant independent hotels. All Preferred Hotels and Resorts properties must apply for membership and adhere to stringent quality standards. Additionally, The DeSoto is a member of Historic Hotels of America, a collection of 275 historic properties defined by a commitment to maintaining authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity. All members of Historic Hotels of America must be at least 50 years old, must have historic significance and have been designated as a National Historic Landmark or be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information about The DeSoto, visit the property’s website at www.thedesotosavannah.com.

About Sotherly Hotels Inc.

Sotherly Hotels Inc. is a self-managed and self-administered lodging REIT focused on the acquisition, renovation, upbranding and repositioning of upscale to upper-upscale full-service hotels in the Southern United States. Currently, the Company’s portfolio consists of investments in eleven hotel properties, comprising 2,838 rooms, and an interest in the Hyde Resort & Residences, a luxury condo hotel. Most of the Company’s properties operate under the Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International, Inc. brands. Sotherly Hotels Inc. was organized in 2004 and is headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.sotherlyhotels.com.

Contact at the Company:        

Scott Kucinski
Vice President – Operations and Investor Relations
Sotherly Hotels Inc.
410 West Francis Street
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 
(757) 229-5648
scottkucinski@sotherlyhotels.com

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Source: Sotherly Hotels Inc.